Talk about not come out as planned! I wanted to do a bit of fabric painting and decided on my design and paint, etc. Now for the fabric! I went digging and thought it would be interesting to have my background be black and that this linen in black would be a perfect foil for my plan. Now to pick a small top. I didn't want to do the recently made green linen top again and hunted for something different. That's when I found this top, Vogue 1515, from Sandra Betzina, that I have wanted to make forever. Bingo! Now, I love SB, and I know her fit philosophy and it's difference from the Big Four. Despite being a fan of her style and adjusting the fit, it rarely works for me. Knowing this I went into this project eyes wide open. But, wow......................
I looked at all the pics on line, PR reviews, etc. I liked the look but some didn't fit the way I'd like the top to fit me. Another crazy issue here is my getting adjusted to a loss of weight. I can't seem to trust a pattern size I haven't used previously and/or I am hung up on my decades of FBAs, I just don't know. Those wide open eyes flat pattern measured everything. There was plenty of ease, but, geez, my bras still fit so I must need an FBA. I did one. I used size B. It seemed closest to my new measurement except the waist larger than mine, trademark Betzina. But this top had no waistline so, who cares? I really should have used the smallest size, A, with no FBA, but even then I think I still would have had issues.
I got the thing sewed up and it was HUGE. I even went back and looked at all the pics again. Reviewers said the armholes were too low. Yup on that! No one complained of the ease, however. It is 'loosely fitting" and it really is. But here is the issue accross the board as I look at other's tops and my own. The shoulders end in an odd place, IMO. They are not wide enough to be a bit of a flattering tiny cap and they are not narrow enough to further feature the unique collar and some nice shoulder bones, if one has those. They are just an odd length, IMO and I took a half inch off the shoulders, a lot for me, and they still sit "out there".
Low armholes? Bigtime. Loose fit? Bigger time. In all honesty and respectfully, I think SB has designed this top as more of a vest and that explains the fit. It works that way and I may use it that way one day. But, I have seen so many pretty summery tops made with this pattern. I think if the armholes were drawn higher and the additional width flared out from the top of the side seam it would all work as a lightweight top. But the extra width of the pattern makes for the " step right up and see if my bra is clean" look that is not for me, that is unless a bulky sweater is underneath.
When starting out I thought if it was a bit too large I would just take in the side seams and all would be fine. I did sew the side seams a quarter inch deeper. What to do, what to do? I am loving this top and it's cool collar. I reached into my heirloom sewing bag of tricks and pulled out a fairly common one from vintage garments. A child's sleeveless dress was often made far wider than needed. The excess was folded under the arm into a pleat that could be taken out as they child grew larger. Our Depression Grandmothers really knew how to make things last. Damn it, I'm going to do the same. You can see above a full three inches has been taken out from the entire side seam with the pleat. Now times two sides, that's six inches I removed from under my arms. It gives a better, sleeker fit to the front but still has all that ease and flare. I like it better! This will be topstitch in around the armhole, more pics later.
Most seams are Frenched. Next time I do this collar I will do opposite of the pattern directions. I will attach the inside first and then top stitch on the outside. Too much drama involved with getting this collar right but it looks good now. It actually looks good inside out with one side not elasticated, just a big pouf, so I may do that to. I did seam binding as a flat casing for the elastic in the collar and that worked fine.
There will definitely be another one of these. I have the fabric picked out and will start tomorrow. I am determined to master this one as it is so cute. When done, I will model both so you can see what I do with the smaller size and different approaches to the details. The painting project, on hold for now but that's coming. Long weekend ahead! ......Bunny
ETA: Just want to say I love Sandra Betzina and her designs. I believe this pattern would be great as is, even for me, if it is used as a sweater vest of some sort. I can see it in a boiled wool with cut edges, so just keep those eyes open if you are contemplating a thin, blouseweight fabric. For a sweater top, use it as designed.;.Bunny